A man who used to be employed as a FedEx driver has been charged with simple assault in connection with a violent road rage incident on a Lakewood NJ road, while a school bus driver was charged with aggravated assault for the same incident.
The road rage attack drew a great deal of media coverage because it was captured on video by another motorist and subsequently went viral on the Internet. The video reportedly shows the suspect driving a FedEx truck on Airport Road in Lakewood NJ and violently swerving toward a school bus that was also on the road. It seems clear from the video that the school bus driver was probably trying to illegally pass the suspect on the roadway, which may have raised the suspect’s ire. However, in the eyes of Ocean County prosecutors, that still does not excuse the suspect’s alleged attempt to ram the bus and run it off the roadway.
The suspect is a 48-year-old man who lives in Maple Shade, New Jersey. After the news of the traffic confrontation began to circulate and FedEx became aware of it, the company terminated the suspect from his position as a driver. Meanwhile, Jay’s Bus Service, the company that employs the bus driver, fired the other driver as well.
The Lakewood Police Department Detective Bureau conducted an investigation into the confrontation and eventually decided that the suspect should be charged with simple assault. Prosecutors ultimately determined that the suspect’s actions on the road did not rise to the level of aggravated assault, which would have elevated the charges from a disorderly persons offense to a felony-level offense. The difference is that felonies in New Jersey carry severe penalties that can include prison time.
In the case of the bus driver, Ocean County prosecutors were not so lenient. Since the bus driver was “engaged in the performance of his duties as a school bus driver” at the time of the incident, he was charged with aggravated assault.
After being charged, the FedEx suspect was released from police custody on his own recognizance. He has a summons to appear in Lakewood Municipal Court at a later date. The bus driver will have to appear in Ocean County Superior Court because he has been charged with a felony.
Both drivers involved in the road rage incident were also cited for traffic violations by Ocean County law enforcement.
For more information, read the NJ.com article, “FedEx Driver Charged in Alleged Road-Rage Confrontation with School Bus.”
If you or a loved one has been charged with aggravated assault or simple assault in New Jersey, you need a skilled criminal defense lawyer representing you. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A. will help you fight your charges and steer clear of the most severe penalties. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.